Flock to Where the Locals Go | Other Orlando

  • A lot of small businesses in heavily tourist-oriented areas have been successful by suggesting they are so good they also attract local residents. In other words:

    Head to where the locals go, folks.

    In the Orlando area, it’s Crane’s Roost.

    The streets here are closed daily.

    No, not for the birds, though they are there.

    Walking around is the only way to travel here.

    The attractive park is in the Orlando suburb of Altamonte Springs, a large, thriving city where there are year-round events that draw not only residents but visitors.

    These events cater to all ages. And many of them are free.

    There’s entertainment, games, activities, crafts, food and more.Big-name entertainers who have performed here include Jimmy Buffet. There’s also events that include wine tasting, concerts and free movies.

    Everyday Events For Entire Family

    A typical special event recently included a fishing derby on the boardwalk, a zoo animal and live animal exhibit, face painting, various kid and interactive games, and even drawings for various prizes, including free passes to LEGOLAND.

    Even visitors unfamiliar with the area can’t miss Cranes Roost Park. It is right off and visible from I-4, the area’s major artery that also connects to the theme parks south of Orlando.

    The park is encircled by one mile of continuous walkway with benches and covered seating areas. Within the 45-acre park is a European-style plaza which includes a choreographed fountain show and a 62-foot picturesque tower as well as the Eddie Rose Amphitheater with stadium-style seating and a floating stage. Walking the Park

    The park itself is an attraction if for no other reason than just walking the one mile loop. There’s also a choreographed fountain show running nightly at 7, 8 and 9 p.m.

    The park is pet-friendly in most areas with a free map detailing the pet walk.

    Hours during the week are from 7 a.m. to 11 p.m., or on the weekends until midnight.

    Restaurants at the area include Care Murano, which has received glowing ratings from diners. The pasta is recommended.

    For visitors, there are a variety of nearby hotels with reduced prices because they are outside of the main tourist corridors of South Orlando

    Other areas of interest to both residents and tourists include the Altamonte Mall, where the 165 stores and restaurants are within a walkable block. The mall also has the AMC Altamonte Mall, an 18-screen theatre. Everything in this area is about ten miles north of downtown Orlando. The theme parks are about an hour away.

    For a schedule of events at Crane’s Roost, www.altamonte.org/calendar.

    Care Murano, www.caremurano.comor 407/834/5880. 309 Crane’s Roost Blvd., Altamonte Springs.

    Altamonte Mall, www.altamontemall.com.51 E. Altamonte Drive, Altamonte Springs. ###